How Thick Should Pancake Batter Be?

Making the perfect pancake means that you want to start with a great batter. You may be wondering how thick your pancake batter should be. We have looked into all the available information on this topic and have found some answers.

Restaurant-quality pancakes are traditionally made from thicker batter. The batter should be thin enough to pour in one flow unto a griddle. It should not fall from a spoon in mounds. It should be thick enough to spread slowly. You'll know your batter is too thin if it spreads quickly before it cooks into place.

Pancakes can be as thin or as thick as you like, and the batter can also be adapted to your tastes. We'll discuss the best ways to adjust the thickness of pancake batter to your liking. Keep reading as we go over the best methods for preparing a great batter.

How Can You Tell If Pancake Batter Is Thick Enough?

Pancake batter baking mix being poured from a bowl onto a hot electric griddle

You can test your batter by using a deep spoon or ladle if the batter pours thickly, slowly, but easily, then it is thick enough for fluffy pancakes. The best test would be to see how it pours on the griddle. A fast-spreading pour will result in thinner pancakes while a slow thick pour will result in thicker pancakes.

For thinner pancakes, though your pour will spread fast, the pan should not become visible when the bubbles start. If the bubbles are making holes in your pancakes then thicken the batter.

To have more control over your batter and the pancake thickness consider using a dispenser. The dispenser below has a whisk ball inside so that you can shake the batter between pours to maintain the air pockets.

It also provides complete control when pouring your batter making it easier to see if your batter is too thick or too thin.

Click here to see a batter dispenser for pancakes on Amazon.

How To Thicken Pancake Batter

Pour batter for pancakes into a frying pan

The most common way to thicken runny pancake batter is to use flour. Do not spoon in the flour and then remix, as this can ruin the texture of your pancakes, making them gummy or dense.

Use a sifter or a mesh strainer and sift spoonfuls of flour in and fold in a few times until your batter reaches the desired consistency.

Other items that can thicken pancake batter and add interesting textures and flavors to your pancake batter are mashed or whipped potatoes, ripe bananas, oatmeal, or wheat germ. A few tablespoons to a quarter cup of one of these would be enough to thicken most runny batters.

Can Cornstarch Thicken Pancakes?

You can use cornstarch as a binder in pancakes, and it could help to get thicker pancakes. Use the smallest amount possible, as too much can drastically change the texture.

Whisk in a tablespoon and let the batter sit for 30 minutes to an hour. It will thicken quickly if it's cooler, so if it is resting in the fridge, you may only need 15 minutes until your batter is thick enough.

What Happens If The Pancake Batter Is Too Thick?

Pancake batter baking mix being poured from a bowl onto a hot electric griddle cooking delicious breakfast meal for a family.

If your batter is too thick, the pancake will become gummy, as it cooks and usually will burn before it cooks all the way through. This results in a pancake that may be raw on the inside and burned on the outside.

If it is not thick enough to burn, it can still cook in a way to make lumpy dense pancakes. If this is happening on your test pancake, thin the batter.

What To Do If The Batter Is Too Thick

If your batter is too thick, it can be thinned out. The simplest way is to mix in spoonfuls of water until you are at the right consistency again. You may also use ingredients like milk, sour cream, or applesauce to thin out a mixture without compromising texture.

For another take on what to do about thick batter, read our article Pancake Batter Too Thick and Sticky — What to Do?

Should You Rest The Pancake Batter In The Fridge?

Some experts advise against resting the pancake batter on purpose. Others state that though it may thicken up in the fridge, it can easily be thinned down again and will result in a lighter pancake.

We recommend that if you plan to store batter in the fridge or rest it for some time, start with a runnier batter. Most expert chefs agree for lighter fluffier pancakes, the batter should be used in under 30 minutes or as soon as possible.

What Happens If You Let Pancake Batter Sit Too Long?

Bowl of fluffy pancake batter

Some experienced cooks say that leaving the batter to rest an hour or more before cooking can compromise the leavening agents in the batter. This will make for thick, denser pancakes. Some cooks prefer allowing the gluten to form in the batter and the texture that this process lends to their pancakes.

If you have the time, letting the batter sit out or in the fridge is a way to thicken the batter without having to add flour to the mix. Adding too much flour while thickening your batter can result in grittier pancakes.

Can You Overwork Pancake Batter?

cooking of Russian dishes pancakes eggs milk flour butter salt. Top-view

One of the more common mistakes when making pancake batter is mixing too much. A good pancake batter should still have some lumps in it. It should never be a smooth cake-like batter. The lumps will disappear during the cooking phase.

What's The Best Whisk For Pancake Batter?

Having the right utensils can also improve your batter and keep it from being overworked. While many home cooks use anything from spoons and forks to machines to mix their pancake batters, most experts agree that a balloon whisk is the best.

Its bulbous head allows the flow needed to push air into your pancake batter. Mixing by hand will prevent overworking the batter.

Click here to see an example of balloon whisks on Amazon.

How To Make The Best Pancake Batter

the process of making dough for pancakes with ingredients on a light table, eggs and flour are whipped with a mixer, How Thick Should Pancake Batter Be

There are as many pancake recipes as there are personalities and cooking styles. A good base to get started is to start with the ratio of one cup of flour, to one cup of liquid, to one egg. This base ratio can make pancakes for up to three or four people and can be multiplied to make larger batches.

Put your flour in a large mixing bowl first, and then add to it a tablespoon of baking powder leveled off for every cup of flour or 1/4  tablespoon of baking soda with a 3/4 tablespoon of baking powder. Add sugar and salt to taste. A good rule is to keep the salt well under a teaspoon per cup of flour.

Make a well in the middle of your batter and beat your liquid ingredients together, then whisk the rest of the batter together just until it's uniform. Some chefs prefer to put dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another and then combine.

It's okay if you see lumps.  Test the thickness by pouring batter from a ladle or test your first pancake and adjust your batter accordingly.

How To Make Batter For Fluffy Pancakes

The directions above will result in a standard thick fluffy pancake. For a lighter fluffier pancake, some items can be folded into this basic batter.

A common method for making fluffier pancakes borrows from waffle recipes. Beat an extra egg white or two until stiff, then fold into your thick batter.

If you prefer not to use eggs or extra egg whites, aquafaba, the liquid from canned chickpeas, can be whipped and added to the batter. Whipped cream is also a favorite to fold in for fluffiness.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how thick your pancake batter should be and how to fix it if it's not to your taste, experiment. Pancakes can be whatever size and consistency you desire. Make a few small batches of your favorite recipes and enjoy finding the pancake batter that will result in your perfect pancake.

Made it to the end? You may also find the following interesting:

Can You Make Pancakes With Self Rising Flour?

How To Keep Pancakes From Sticking To The Pan

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